Letters to the Editor: Why calls to restore discipline in the classroom are troubling

Desks are arranged in a classroom at an elementary school in Nesquehoning, Pa.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: A letter to the editor written by an educator of more than 30 years suggested three strategies to attract young people to the teaching profession. As a fellow educator of more than 30 years, I was horrified.

The writer’s first suggestion was to remove the one year of graduate education required to obtain a teaching credential by folding it into a bachelor’s degree. Finland, Germany and other European countries require a master’s to teach. Educators need more, not less, training.

The second suggestion was to restore authority and order to classrooms. Studies show that authority and order tend to fall heaviest on students of color and low-income and disabled students. Again: Teachers require more training, not ratcheting up punishment.


I do agree with the writer’s third point: Pay teachers more.

Suzanna Bortz, Laguna Niguel


To the editor: A letter writer listed three ways to attract new teachers, one of which was to restore discipline since too many unruly students are sent right back into the classroom. I agree with the writer.

Earlier this year, a first-grade student in Virginia shot his teacher in the classroom. Before the incident, according to a lawsuit filed by the injured teacher, the student had multiple disciplinary incidents leading up to the shooting that involved physical violence and threats of violence.

Still, the student remained in the classroom.

This is one reason why teachers are quitting, and why many new teachers quit after fewer than five years on the job.

David Waldowski, Laguna Woods